Saturday, October 31, 2009


I don't often review movies that I happen to stumble on when renting but this is a movie so awful, so completely devoid of anything that could even charitably referred to as decent filmmaking that I felt it was almost a public service to warn people about it. Surveillance is directed by Jennifer Lynch daughter of David Lynch and boy does she share his need to toss out character, plot, pacing and dialogue for mood and "quirkiness".

Jennifer Lynch is worse than her father because while she has all of his weaknesses she has none of his strengths. Surveillance is astonishing in it's ability to horrifically nihilistic and painfully boring at the same time. This is a shitty Saw/Hostel type film trying to masquerade as art. Here's how much I hate this movie, I am now going to give away the big twist ending so stop reading if you don't want to know:


Okay so that will hopefully get people to not even see the film. Even if they curse me for giving away the ending I can sleep better knowing I kept some innocents from wasting two hours of their lives. Surveillance "plot" seems like it might be interesting when it first unfolds. There has been some kind of accident on a deserted road near a small town killing several people including most of a family.

Supposed FBI Agents Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond show up to investigate what went down. From there Surveillance becomes a series of ridiculous events and idiotic plot twists dragged out at a pace that rivals a legless horse pulling itself through a sea of glue. I'm not sure what sucked more, what was going on in the movie or the fact that I wanted to scream "GET THE FUCK ON WITH IT" about halfway through.

Surveillance is really a miracle of filmmaking in that it fails on every level. The script is a logical mess, the characters completely uninteresting, the direction non-existent, the editing sloppy, even the costumes are fucking boring. I guess Lynch figured if she threw in some odd camera angles and creepy music that she'd be compared to her father. Instead she hands us a movie that looks and feels like a pretentious film student's final project gone horribly wrong. I seriously can't believe that somebody green lit this movie.

It's as if Jennifer Lynch walked into a meeting room, pulled down her pants and took a big shit. Then she kneeled down and started waving it around and...sniff sniff...started smelling it. Then she smiled at the movie execs, blew them all and underneath the sheen of newly fired semen she managed to produce enough photos of these producers with live boys or dead girls that she got her money. When the big twist ending reveal comes it's so laughable, so badly handled that I kept scanning the movie backwards to see if I had missed something. Nope, not at all, just a bad script brought to life by a hack director.

To round out the bad script and shoddy acting Lynch also throws in the overly mature and creepy little girl that art house films way overuse, the two in love serial killers who act all oversexed and "CRAZY" by opening their eyes really wide and yelling a lot and even the incredibly hot drug addict (which I love because we all know how hot drug addicts are). The worst of these are the two corrupt cops whose motivations make no sense and are clearly there just as catalysts for the movie's clunker plot.

Surveillance is a great example of how fucking far the apple can really fall from the tree. In this case the tree isn't all that great so the apple that falls lands all rotted and brown. Jennifer Lynch is an awful director and even worse at trying to craft a script. She has no sense of dynamics, tension or character. I beg you to avoid Surveillance at all costs. Better yet if you see a copy steal it and light it on fire. If everybody joined together we could, as a people, destroy every last copy of this vile, boring and completely reprehensible piece of shit.

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